Threats

Marine DebrisMarine Debris

Simply put, marine debris is litter that kills marine life. It can leach toxic pollutants, endanger human health and hurt business and tourism by dirtying our beaches and coastlines. So much trash reaches the ocean through our storm drain systems that an estimated 60-80 percent of all marine debris originates from land-based sources. Find out more »

Climate ChangeClimate Change

Climate change is caused by the release of greenhouse gases (GHGs) into our atmosphere – primarily caused by the burning of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels, such as petroleum and coal, release carbon dioxide that traps heat in our atmosphere. Warmer air and water temperatures result in loss of sea ice, sea level rise, ocean acidification and extreme weather – all of which threaten fish and wildlife populations as well as our quality of life. Find out more »

Water PollutionWater Pollution

The largest source of contaminants in California’s ocean comes from polluted runoff from our streets, parking lots, and golf courses. When it rains or you wash your car, the water picks up motor oil, trash, lawn or agriculture fertilizers and pesticides from the ground and sweeps them into storm drains, eventually reaching our creeks, rivers, and ocean. These pollutants endanger marine life and human health and can lead to costly beach closures. Find out more »

Aquatic Invasives Aquatic Invasives

Once introduced to a new environment, invasive species can negatively impact the environment, economy, and human health. Most aquatic invasive species are spread by human activities such as shipping or the aquarium trade, and once established they threaten native ecosystems and biodiversity.  Find out more »

 Declining Fisheries

Humans have been fishing for thousands of years, but the technological advances of the last several hundred years have resulted in unsustainable levels of harvest, threatening fish stocks and the integrity of entire marine ecosystems. In addition to the ecological impacts, declining fisheries also result in economic loss and decreased food security. Find out more »

Habitat Destruction and Degradation

While natural disasters result in temporary destruction of habitat, human impacts are both more consistent and more severe, with detrimental impacts to species around the world. Development or conversion of sensitive wetlands, manmade dams, and bottom-trawling fishing are just a few examples of negative human impacts on the coastal and marine environments. Find out more »